Contingency Contracting: Agency Actions to Address Recommendations by the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan Page: 1 of 36
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Accountability * Integrity * Reliability
United States Government Accountability Office
Washington, DC 20548
August 1, 2012
The Honorable Claire McCaskill
The Honorable Kelly Ayotte
Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support
Committee on Armed Services
United States Senate
The Honorable Jim Webb
United States Senate
Subject: Contingency Contracting: Agency Actions to Address Recommendations by the
Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan
Over the past decade, the Department of Defense (DOD), Department of State (State), and U.S.
Agency for International Development (USAID) have relied extensively on contractors to help
carry out their missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Between fiscal year 2002 and fiscal year 2011,
these agencies reported combined obligations of approximately $159 billion for contracts with a
principal place of performance in either country. Contractor personnel have provided a range of
services related to supporting troops and civilian personnel and to overseeing and carrying out
reconstruction efforts, such as interpretation, security, weapon systems maintenance,
intelligence analysis, facility operations support, advice to Iraqi and Afghan ministries, and road
and infrastructure construction. The use of contractors in contingency operations such as these
is not new, but the number of contractors and the type of work they are performing in Iraq and
Afghanistan represent an increased reliance on contractors to support agency missions.
Congress established the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan (CWC)
in 2008 to assess contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan and provide recommendations to
Congress to improve the contracting process.1 The CWC was directed by Congress to assess
contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan for reconstruction, logistics, and security functions; examine
the extent of waste, fraud, and abuse; and provide recommendations to Congress to improve
various aspects of contingency contracting, including defining requirements and identifying,
addressing, and providing accountability for waste, fraud, and abuse.
Led by six commissioners appointed by congressional leadership and two commissioners
appointed by the president, the CWC conducted its work between 2008 and 2011.2 In a series
of interim and special reports and in a culminating final report, the CWC made multiple
1National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, Pub. L. No. 110-181, 841.
2The CWC ceased operations on September 30, 2011, 30 days after issuing its final report.
GAO-12-854R Contingency Contracting
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United States. Government Accountability Office. Contingency Contracting: Agency Actions to Address Recommendations by the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, text, August 1, 2012; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc301510/m1/1/: accessed November 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.